"have you seen the electric lady video yet? it’s fuckin’ perfect!”
my good buddy (and hilarious comic) jordan temple said this to me recently. i knew it was out but i hadn’t had a chance to watch it - it was released around the time i was having a full body stressed-induced meltdown. i didn’t have it in me to sit through one of janelle monae’s futuristic dreamscapes.
just watched it a few minutes ago. it was not what i was expecting! a super fun yet empowering college party! okay, i expected the empowering part, but not a relatively accessible party!
and yet, i still ended up crying a little bit towards the end of it. it’s a weird personal phenomenon where janelle monae videos make me cry a little bit. usually they strike me in a particularly weak spot: am i a decent black woman? like, am i doing black sisterhood right? because i don’t have a history of it. a couple of months ago i went to a goodbye brunch for a coworker and i was linked in a photo on facebook. my sister commented, “look at you with all of those black people!” y’know, because it was NOTEWORTHY. my stupid feelings were hurt but it’s not like she was wrong. so when i watch this great video, i wonder, “is this what i’ve been missing?”
this is partly why things like afropunk stress me out. am i cool enough to be there? am i cool enough for this half-shaved haircut i’ve been sporting? i hope so, cuz i love it. shit, am i cool enough to attend the fictional parties in R&B videos? well, who is, really? am i cool enough to stop worrying about being “cool enough?” not yet, clearly, but i’m working on it.